My Toddler Designed a Tattoo… and I Got It!

Yes! You read that right. My three-year-old drew my latest tattoo. I loved it so much, I actually went and got it.

Toddler turned tattoo artist.

Tattoos are such a fun way to express yourself.

I have some that have a ton of meaning, one I just randomly got, and others that just make me smile. Yeah, they’re lifelong commitments and I know the whole ‘when you’re old’ comments. But, I still like them and want more.

This latest one will always be one of my favorites. I think I say that about all of mine.

A few weeks ago, I shared how Mila signed off birthday cards to other people. She draws a little creepy person and then scribbles for words.

Well, I really loved her creepy people and decided I wanted one of them tattooed on me.

So… I did it.

Before I went, I showed Mila the person I was getting. She was so ecstatic I was getting something she drew on me.

We talked about it a couple days before and I even heard her tell a few people too.

This is a big deal for her.

I love that I have the way she first drew people and seen the world. It reminds me that she pays most attention to facial expressions, if I’m paying attention to her, and legs. Which makes a lot of sense if you put yourself in a toddler’s shoes.

The tattoo took maybe thirty minutes to get. It was simple and quick to do.

Liz from Crown and Anchor Tattoo Club always does a great job on my tattoos. She’s easy to work with and is usually down for whatever pops in my head.

I’m sure it was super easy to decipher a child’s drawing, but she honored it, line by line.

When Mila first saw me after my tattoo, she immediately wanted to see it. She reminded my family that she was the one that drew it and was so proud when she saw it on my leg.

As much as I love it now, I know she’ll always love it too.

In the future, I’d definitely be open to getting more of her artwork. We’ll see what she comes up with. I’m most definitely getting her handwriting through. That is so special to me.

Would you ever get one of your child’s drawings tattooed on you? Or do you think I’ve gone completely crazy!?

Toddler Activity: Marshmallow Painting

S’mores are obviously a huge part of our summer. We have tons of fires and we’re always craving the gooey treat. Sometimes, you can have a ton of leftover marshmallows. Instead of just throwing them away before they get hard, try this Marshmallow painting.

It’s a fun way for kids to play with their food and wait for the s’mores to get done!

If you’re by the campfire making s’mores, you have almost everything you’ll need.

  • Marshmallows
  • Paint
  • Sticks
  • Canvas

To start this activity off, I had Mila go find sticks. It gave her some time to explore and find the perfect ones.

While she was doing that, I prepped the painting area. All you need to do is find a spot for your canvas, get a palette (I used old cardboard) to put the paint, and get out marshmallows.

Once Mila got back with the sticks, I stuck the sticks in the marshmallows to make a ‘brush.’

Before she started painting, I asked her to tell me a campfire story through her art. So, while she was painting, she was telling a big story. Everyone color represented something different.

The storytelling part of this activity is my favorite! People have been telling stories around the fire since the first humans.

I can’t remember exactly what Mila’s was about. There were a lot of details.

What I do recall is the story was about me, Mila, and Max. We rode on a bike to get plants and a tree. She was purple, I was pink, Max was orange, the plants and tree were green, the bike was blue, and there’s some colors she used again that I don’t remember why.

I should have been recording her tell the story, but I didn’t think about it until after. Either way, when I look at her little painting, I smile.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a little s’more and told more stories. It was such a fun activity to start our evening. Summer nights like these are my absolute favorite.

In the next week or so, I hope I can start writing down her stories. She’s been telling a lot of them and I want to make sure I always remember. When I do, I’ll make sure to write a post about it in case you’d like to do something similar.

Have you ever painted with marshmallows before? If not, what’s your favorite camping or summer craft you did as a child?

Here’s some other summer/camping crafts you might want to check out too!

Toddler Activity: Balloon Pop Artwork

Toddlers love throwing things, balloons, and making a mess. I’ve found a way to incorporate all three with this Balloon Pop Artwork.

For Mila’s third party birthday in April, (I still haven’t wrote about it. I’ll get to it as soon as I can!) we did a Young, Wild, and THREE theme. That meant animals prints, fun games, and friends. The day was truly a celebration.

Anyways, one our favorite parts was all the littles creating a huge piece of art. It was a carnival style game that the adults had a lot of fun watching.

This set up was inspired by the balloon throw game at fairs and carnivals.

And yes… we used darts.

Here are the supplies we used to create the balloon pop artwork:

  • A huge canvas
  • Paint
  • Balloons
  • Darts
  • Tape
  • A crazy group of kids

I want to start off saying that this project was a little more difficult than I thought. Honestly, I didn’t think through the getting the paint in the balloon or how to get them to stick effectively.

Yet… here are my tips to help! Plus a funny story or two.

The first thing you need to do is get the paint inside the balloons. Like I just said, this is not easy at all. If you have a trick of how to do this, please let all of us know. Hopefully that tip will help someone else out.

Anyways, after trial and error, I found the best way to put paint in a balloon are these steps.

First, blow up the balloon and let the air out. Second, stretch out the hole and squeeze paint in the balloon. Then, blow it up.

It sounds way simpler and easier than it actuality.

At first, I tried filling the balloon with a straw. It helped for a little bit, but pulling it out put paint everywhere. Which isn’t good when you still have to blow the balloon up.

BEWARE…

With one balloon, I had it half blown up then accidentally let go of the opening… that meant, all the air and paint in the balloon sprayed back on me.

It covered my face and shirt. Some got on my teeth and in my mouth. It just was not a great time.

So, there will be some trial and error.

After you’re done blowing up balloons, you have to tape them to the canvas.

I’d suggest not taping the balloons on or getting the activity outside until you’re ready to do it. The balloons will pop in the heat and tape doesn’t hold really well on canvas.

Yes… some balloons did pop prematurely in my house. It was a mess the entire time. But made me laugh too. What’s life without laughter?

Once it’s time to throw down, just set it up where you don’t mind paint getting every where.

We lined the kids up and told them what to do.

They all took turns really well and had a lot of fun with it. The littler kids had a harder time, but as soon as they realized they could throw hard, it got a lot more fun.

If you have kids close to the canvas, they will get paint on them!

Anyways, it took them a while to actually pop all the balloons. They started inching up after a few rounds.

Even though it was messy, I’m obsessed with out the Balloon Pop Artwork turned out. It’s actually the first piece of art someone sees when they walk into my house right now.

I love that every time we look at it, we remember how much fun Mila’s third birthday was!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever done an activity like this? Or let me know what your favorite carnival game is.

Before you go, check out how these moms incorporate the carnival in their play…

DIY Outdoor Art Display

Mila and I spend a lot of time outside. We tend to our plants, play with our cats, and eat out there too. Since our outdoor areas are so important, we decided to do a DIY Outdoor Art Display to make it even more homey.

Mila makes a lot of artwork. Most of it gets showcased on here. She is so proud to show it off and it makes me smile every time I see it.

Why wouldn’t we take it outside?

Plus, outdoor living doesn’t have to be boring. You can add colors and pops of personality. Just make sure it’s covered from the elements and you’re good. There’s also a ton of weatherproofed items you can purchase.

Here’s what we used for this outdoor art display:

  • Two pallet boards
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • Nails

The biggest project was the shelf. All we did was screw the boards together. We could have painted it, but I like the natural look. Then, we screwed the shelf in the siding and put nails where the canvas went.

After that hard part was done, it’s decorating time.

I loved how all the elements came together. Mila’s artwork was the star of the show, but there’s other elements that we love Thats inside our house.

The plants we chose love humidity and are covered from the sun harsh rays. It’s also a great way to propagate them and add glass pieces. The rest of our porch is covered in plants too!

Of course, we had to add Jensen’s block. It’s our way of having him close to us no matter where we are around the house.

I also loved the picture of Mila and the eagle rock too. All things that make our space ours.

With a few nails, screws, and pieces of pallet wood we created our perfect art display. It truly was a simple process that had a big impact.

Since I have wood siding, I think it made this project a little easier. If you have vinyl siding, all you would need is different screws. It isn’t too much different!

At the end of the day, I’m so happy for this little DIY. It’s helped me center on self care and taking a moment in the morning and evenings.

I can’t wait to see what Mila creates for it next.

What outdoor DIYs have you done lately?

5 June Affirmations for Self Love.

With post school craziness, I’ve been lacking on setting aside time for self care. I knew for June that I needed to make self love affirmation cards to remind myself to take time for me.

Since I love painting, I did random doodles to be the backdrop for my affirmations.

I love that they can be as simple or complex as I want to make it.

For this month, I wanted to focus on how colors made me feel. It seems like I always am drawn to rainbows, so I’m not surprised that’s what I drew. All the other colors were straight from my emotions and I tried to get the words to match.

Here’s my June affirmations this month. I also shared my cross between watercolor and digital art. Please feel free to use and share them if you’d like!

I spread love wherever I go.

I choose to let go of past anger.

Just keep shining.

I will ride out this wave.

You are important too.

Affirmations are so important for me to do. I hang them up in my kitchen where I can see them. They don’t have to be big pieces of paper to make a huge impact.

These little reminders will help me remember to make time for myself this summer. Mothers need self care and self love. This is mine.

Even if it’s five minutes, make sure to take time for you.

You’re important. You deserve it.

What affirmations or quotes have been speaking to you lately? Let me know in the comments.

Toddler Activity: Fruit Flower Art

Two of our favorite parts of spring are the flowers and fresh fruit! Since we love playing with our food, we were inspired to paint our favorite spring things.

Mila has painted with different foods before. It’s always fun watching her experiment with how the paint works with random objects. Even more fun, is how it all turns out at the end.

For this project, we ate a fruit salad for breakfast and then used the tops for her artwork. It was a way to reduce waste and be creative all in one.

Try saving some of your fruit scraps and try this flower painting out.

Here’s all you’ll need:

This activity is really simple to set up.

All you need to do is prep your fruits, get a painting space, and pour paint. Your child will figure out the rest as they paint.

For Mila, I asked her if she wanted to paint flowers and we looked at the ones in our yard.

Since we practiced the parts of flowers, she kept telling me which part of the flower she was painting. It’s amazing how much little ones remember! She also kept telling me the apples made bigger flowers and the strawberries made smaller ones.

I absolutely love watching the world Thats in her head come alive on a canvas. She’s always telling a story when she paints too.

We make sure to ‘sign’ and date the back of every painting she does. One day I’ll need to get a huge storage box for all of her paintings. For now, they’re decorated all throughout my house.

With these paintings, you can have your child paint whatever they’d like. Mila just loves flowers and it’s perfect for springtime.

I think she did an amazing job!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever painted with and what do you think Mila and I should try next?

If you’re into playing with your food, but just prefer eating it, check out these recipes from other mamas. I’m sure you’ll love them!

Toddler Activity: Flyswatter Painting

We love process art! With spring here, as well as the bugs, we had to find a creative way to make a unique piece of art. This time, with a flyswatter and a hyper toddler!

Mila has a love hate with bugs. On one hand, she’s afraid of most of them. Then, on the other, she likes butterflies and the ‘pretty’ bugs. She despises flies and gnats, but was pretty impressed last year when she was introduced to the flyswatter. It’s like she’s on fly patrol whenever she sees one.

To get her creative and being active (which she loves), I thought this activity would be fun for her!

Not only is it fun for Mila to paint and have fun with it, the texture the flyswatter made was amazing to me. It turned out to be a great project.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canvas or paper
  • Flyswatter
  • ‘Bugs’ (aka paint)

I love activities that have an easy set up. It works for Mila’s patience level and if I just need a quick activity, it’s so nice. This one was just like that.

The only real planning we did was picking out paint colors. Mila, of course, went for her normal colors: pink, blue, and purple. We had everything else already on hand, but you can find all of these materials almost anywhere.

Then, I just poured little dots of paint all over the canvas. I told Mila to pretend they were bugs and to smack them!

She had so much fun hitting all the different bugs. If I do this activity again, I’ll have her hit the certain colors to practice color matching. It would be fun seeing if she or any toddler would try their best not to hit any other colors too.

The patter the lines on the flyswatter made were perfect. When she asked for more bugs, the layered look was so cute. Somehow, the paints didn’t all muddle together and you could see all the different colors. I was worried they’d just become a huge purple blob!

I think this pattern would end up making great homemade wrapping paper too!

Mila had a ton of fun hitting the canvas and we ended up doing the same activity on a big wood board too.

I hope to finish her painting off with writing a quote on it in the near future. I love to combine her artwork with encouraging words! It just makes for a fun team project that I know we’ll enjoy for years to come.

Let me know in the comments if you like bugs or if you’re on Mila’s side of the flyswatter.

Check out how some other moms incorporated bugs and insects in their learning.

Motherhood freed me.

Last month, I saw a post by Avery’s Garden asking for submissions of creative grief. The prompt was, “What does motherhood look like to you?”

For me, motherhood has been complicated and full of ups and downs.

In the beginning, I was stripped away from physically mothering Jensen. I will never be able to fully explain that pain and how it will always linger. I’ve tried hundreds of time, but there are no words.

As the months and years have went past, my motherhood has evolved.

I have Mila and we remember Jensen each day. With the two of them, I parent and honor them so different. I’ve changed the way I look at my motherhood too.

Here’s how I see my motherhood this year…

Through the grief and nakedness
of losing the biggest part of me,
planted a seed.

Out of that pain and emptiness
came all the growth and beauty.
Motherhood freed me.

I’m definitely not an artist, but I enjoyed painting and creating. When I look at this piece, I think of how far I’ve come and how much love I give every day.

Motherhood isn’t a pretty thing. It’s hard and is never perfect. Somehow through it all, it’s freed me.

I couldn’t imagine a life without them. Everyday I’m glad they chose me to be their mom.

Toddler Activity: DIY Mother’s Day Watercolor Cards

If you’re like me, you might be running a little behind getting Mother’s Day presents. One thing I always seem to forget is the card! This year, try these DIY watercolor cards!

These are a fun way to share your child’s creativity and a way for you to get involved too. Mila loved seeing our creations and I know they’ll be a hit. This could also be a great tradition to start with your children too. They could end up just making them for you as they get older.

All you need is:

This activity is pretty easy.

Go to an area or set up one that you’re okay with paint getting on. Then lay everything out. This specific water color paint was already mixed up. This made it easier for Mila so she didn’t have to dip her brushes in water first.

After, let them paint whatever they would like. There’s no right or wrong way for them to paint or create these.

Once they’re done with a specific card, have them sprinkle salt on the paint. Not only does this help it dry, it creates an amazing texture to the cards. Plus, it’s a little science experiment that your child will love!

They can continue with their painting and salt.

When the salt is dried, you and your child can rub it off. They’ll love seeing how it looks and Mila was in awe of how the salt was colored too.

The next part is up to you. If your child is older, you can instruct them to draw flowers or something that reminds them of the female figures in their lives. Mila wasn’t interested in this, so I personally drew flowers that flowed with her painting. It’s so much fun to take their creations and help make it even more special.

I ended up taping the paintings to cards. On the inside, I wrote a special note for each of Mila’s cards and had her sign it.

They turned out so cute and I really love them. Mila loved the outcome of her cards and was so proud of her painting. I think seeing it all come together helped complete her vision. As always, she will be so excited for her loved ones to receive them.

Honestly, I’m keeping one for myself so I can see how Mila’s art skills grow. Plus, I’m just as proud of her as she is of herself.

If you end up trying this activity, let me know in the comments. Make sure to tag me on Instagram if you share on there too.

What are your favorite types of Mother’s Day gifts?

Toddler DIY: Painted Flower Pots

Don’t scramble this Mother’s Day to come up with gift. Try these DIY painted flower pots to give to your loved ones.

Not only are they easy to make, it’s adorable watching your child pick out the plants for it.

Plants are great gifts to give because they keep growing! It’s extra special to get a personalized pot as well. The combo makes a beautiful present and you’ll toddler will be proud to gift it.

Here’s everything you’ll need:

Most of these items, you probably have at your house. If you don’t have any extra pots laying around, terracotta pots are inexpensive and can be found at most stores. Another option is to use plastic ones too.

To personalize the pots, I added stickers to it before we painted. This is completely up to you!

Then it was time to set up.

I laid a sheet of parchment paper down on my island. Just so there wasn’t paint everywhere like her Earth Day painting.

Next, I had her let me know what color paint she wanted to do. Another great way to practice her color recognition, which she has nailed! But, it’s always fun listening about her favorite color. I ended up putting all the colors on a plate.

After everything was set up, I instructed her to paint all over the pots.

It took her a little bit to get both of them done.

All of the colors got mixed together too. It made a beautiful green color, but it’s a good word of caution if you don’t want all the colors together.

We let the pots dry and took a nap. I should’ve tried to pull the stickers off before we fell asleep though!

When I removed them, the paint stuck. Of course.

To fix this, I ended up just using permanent markers to fix it. This happens with DIYs. Nothing will ever turn out perfect, but I just love them.

After everything’s dried and the way you’d like it, it’s time to pick the plant or flowers.

I have a ton of plants that need ‘real pots,’ not just nursery pots. Yes, yes. I’m most definitely a crazy plant lady at this point!

Honestly though, I think these turned out so cute. I love how mine turned into a rainbow, marble piece and my mom’s is a nice blue and green swirl. They’re both made with so much love.

You and your toddler can easily make these pots in an afternoon. They’ll make anyone smile to receive!

Let me know what you think about these pots in the comments. If you DIY them, tag me on Instagram: @greyskies.rainbowhighs. I can’t wait to see your and your toddler’s creativity.

Before you go, check out what these other moms are doing for Mother’s Day this year…